Factotum – Charles Bukowski



(This book was painful to read)

A guy in the USA going through shitty jobs, drinking, sex and complaining that women are sluts. His dream is to become a writer, when in reality he can’t hold the easiest job for more than a few months.

I did not enjoy reading this book. It was the first book I’ve read written by Bukowski and will probably be the last. His writing style is just too painful…

The main character is a weak man. A man without a backbone. A man full of desires and ambitions and no will power to achieve anything. Instead, he chooses a life of whining and binge drinking. He reminds me of a dumber version of the protagonist from the Catcher in The Rye.

This book paints a picture of the person you should never become.


“I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.”

“Yes, your attitude. You think we didn’t notice it?” That’s when I first learned that it wasn’t enough to just do your job, you had to have an interest in it, even a passion for it.

“I wasn’t all that clever. It was more instinct than anything else. I always started a job with the feeling that I’d soon quit or be fired, and this gave me a relaxed manner that was mistaken for intelligence or some secret power.”

“When I went to the Yellow Cab Company I passed the Cancer Building and I remembered that there were worse things than looking for a job you didn’t want. I went in and it seemed easy enough, the same old forms, questions, etc.”

“I didn’t like parties. I didn’t know how to dance and people frightened me, especially people at parties. They attempted to be sexy and gay and witty and although they hoped they were good at it, they weren’t. They were bad at it. Their trying so hard only made it worse.”


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